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Success! Thomas from Tanzania raised $880 to fund a corrective surgery for his knee condition.

Thomas
100%
  • $880 raised, $0 to go
$880
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Thomas's treatment was fully funded on April 29, 2021.

Photo of Thomas post-operation

May 18, 2021

Thomas underwent a surgery for his knee condition so he can walk more easily.

Thomas has had both of his legs corrected and he currently has a full cast of both of his legs. Through this surgery, his family is relieved that Thomas has been saved from the struggles he was having walking and the pain he was experiencing when he’d walk for a long distance or after a long day of play. They have new hope that Thomas will now lead a normal life.

Thomas’ mother says, “We had lost hope having our child treated due to financial challenges but thanks to the program and everyone involved, my son has had his legs corrected. Thank you and may God bless you all.”

Thomas has had both of his legs corrected and he currently has a full cast of both of his legs. Through this surgery, his family is relieved...

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April 19, 2021

Thomas is a very charming, playful, and friendly 6-year-old. He’s the second-born in a family of four children. His parents say he has been requesting for them to send him to school like his older brother, but they have not been able to enroll him in kindergarten due to his health condition. Both of his parents are small-scale farmers of maize and vegetables, which they use mainly for their food and only sell some of their harvest to be able to buy other basics.

Thomas was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. This condition started when Thomas was three years old, and over time his legs have worsened. His legs have curved inwards, forming knock knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Thomas now walks with a gait and has pain after a long day of play and walking.

Thomas’ parents initially wanted to seek treatment for him, but the village health clinic was not able to treat the condition and advised them to go to a referral hospital. This posed some financial challenges. Fortunately, through a community outreach program of Watsi’s Medical Partner Care Center called Plaster House, Thomas was able to be sent to ALMC Hospital, traveling over twelve hours from their village. Thomas has been scheduled to have both of his legs corrected through surgery, but his parents cannot afford the cost of his care and are in need of financial support.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Thomas. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Thomas’s mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications.

Thomas’ father shared, “We wish to see our son walk well like other normal children, but due to financial challenges we have not been able to afford his treatment cost. Please help us.”

Thomas is a very charming, playful, and friendly 6-year-old. He's the second-born in a family of four children. His parents say he has been ...

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Thomas's Timeline

  • April 19, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Thomas was submitted by Beatrice Njoroge, Curative Medical Support Program Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • April 20, 2021
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Thomas received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) in Tanzania. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • April 21, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Thomas's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • April 29, 2021
    FULLY FUNDED

    Thomas's treatment was fully funded.

  • May 18, 2021
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Thomas's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 10 donors

Funded by 10 donors

Treatment
Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $880 for Thomas's treatment
Hospital Fees
$831
Medical Staff
$15
Medication
$11
Supplies
$0
Labs
$23
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients with genu valgum (or "knock-knees") have knees that bend inward and cause an abnormal walking gait. Patients with genu varum (or bowleggedness) have knees that bend outward and cause knee or hip pain and reduced range of motion in the hips.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

The patient's mobility is hindered, which can prevent the patient from making a living through physical labor. The patient may also develop arthritis later in life.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

In the United States, supplemental fluoride is added to the water to improve dental health. However, in areas of northern Tanzania, there is too much naturally-occurring fluoride in the water, which causes bone curvature.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

After surgery, the patient will stay in the hospital for 4-5 days. During this time, the surgical wound will be monitored for swelling and infection. The patient will complete physiotherapy to help him or her walk or move the limbs. A series of X-rays will be performed over several months to monitor the healing process.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

The bones and joints will be aligned, and long-term disability will be prevented.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This procedure is not risky, but it is time-consuming. The rehabilitation process can take several months.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Care is not easily accessible. Most patients live in remote, rural areas and are identified through mobile outreach. The pediatric surgical program at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre was started to meet the large burden of pediatric disability in the region.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives. Although some cases can heal on their own, the patients submitted to Watsi require dedicated treatment.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Susan

Susan is a seven-year-old girl in the first grade and the second child in her family. Unfortunately, Susan was involved in a grisly road traffic accident when a vehicle lost control on March 8th, 2021. Five children and the teachers were hit, and one child unfortunately passed away. Susan survived despite sustaining fractures on her right hand and leg. She was brought to our medical partner's care center, Nazareth Hospital, and had a fracture repair surgery on her hand and leg. One week ago the plates were removed. Susan's hand has healed well but she has started having severe pain on her leg. When Susan's parents brought her back to the hospital, a X-Ray showed the fracture has reoccurred, and the surgeon recommended a repeat surgery. Without treatment, Susan will continue experiencing the pain, she may never be able to use her leg again, or her leg may eventually heal with a deformity. Fortunately, the surgeons at Nazareth can help. On July 1st, Susan is scheduled to undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Afterward, Susan will freed from pain and will be able to use her leg to walk to school and play again. Susan’s father works temporarily as a welder and her mother is a housewife. Their income is limited and their health insurance can no longer cover for another surgery after supporting the previous one. Therefore, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure for Susan. “We thank God that our child is alive as one child died during the accident. We are hoping her surgery can be successful so that we can see her happy again and not in pain. We plead for her surgery sponsorship, ” Susan’s father wishes for her daughter's full recovery.

90% funded

90%funded
$946raised
$103to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.